Virgin Media O2, Accenture partner to boost private 5G solutions – RCR Wireless News

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Virgin Media O2 said that the first customer implementations in the U.K. will take place in the coming months

U.K. carrier Virgin Media O2 and Accenture have announced a new collaboration to seek opportunities in the U.K.’s mobile private network market, the former said in a release.

Under the terms of the partnership, Virgin Media O2’s 5G private network capabilities will be boosted by Accenture’s expertise in helping enterprises realize the potential of 5G technology with a broad set of applications for multiple industry segments – including computer vision artificial intelligence for product quality control monitoring of equipment to meet factory floor compliance requirements and queue management systems to improve customer experiences.

The pair noted that the solutions are built on Accenture’s Edge Orchestration Platform and will incorporate edge computing, data and AI, and embedded cybersecurity focusing initially on the construction, transportation and logistics, manufacturing, utilities, warehousing and sports venue sectors.

Liberty Global, the joint owner of Virgin Media O2 alongside Spanish operator Telefónica, is also exploring opportunities for these solutions in other geographic markets outside of the U.K. The partners said they aim the first customer implementations will take place in the coming months.  

Jo Bertram, managing director of business and wholesale at Virgin Media O2, said: “Building on Virgin Media O2’s established expertise in deploying mobile private networks, this new partnership with Accenture leverages their industry-specific knowledge and proven digital platform and solutions to help broaden our offering to businesses. From facilitating safe communication on construction sites to powering critical devices in hospitals, businesses across a range of sectors will have access to a one-stop shop of innovative, adaptive and secure mobile private network solutions.”

“Enterprises need to reinvent their networks to become agile and competitive, and it starts with access to reliable and secure mobile connectivity. This enables companies to build a strong digital core that uses the power of cloud, data, artificial intelligence and other technologies alongside new ways of working – ultimately helping them to optimize operations, drive growth, and reach new levels of performance,” said Andy Tay, global lead at Accenture Cloud First.

Earlier this year, Virgin Media O2 said its 5G network reached a coverage of 50% of the country’s population as of the end of 2023.

Virgin Media O2 had initially launched services in the U.K. in June 2021. Liberty Global and Telefonica had reached an agreement to merge their U.K. operations in a 50-50 joint venture in May of 2020. That same month, the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decided to allow the proposed merger between mobile operator O2 and Virgin Media.

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